What Can a Billion People Do With a Frustrated Army Chief?
When an army chief gets cross there is nothing much you can do, as the Indians are learning the hard way. In neighboring Pakistan, like in many Arab countries in the past, things might have been simpler. All General B K Singh had to do if he wasn’t happy with the government was to declare a coup.
If in the chaotic and non decisive India no one seems to know what to do, it’s because the saga of the Army General B K Singh, who is about to retire is a complex one.
First there was this issue regarding his real age arising out of two different dates entered in the military records. Unbelievable it is, no one really knew or could decide how old the commander of the vast army protecting 1.3 billion Indians was until the Supreme Court turned down a case he filed against the government.
The row which did go on for the better part of last year between the General and the government which ended up in court and in a serious loss of face for both parties, gave the general impression that India was not expecting an invasion from any corners.
Then there was this ‘bomb’ of a bribe of $3.5 Million the general was offered by another retired general for favoring purchase of substandard trucks for the military. Totally out of expected conduct of an army chief, Mr Singh revealed the offer for the bribe to a national daily which promptly chose to publish it without blinking an eye.
This caused great shock inside and outside the country and an uproar and commotion in the parliament which demanded explanation as to why no action was taken by the general or the defense minister to whom the matter was promptly reported.Continued on the next page